Rochester Rhinos Secure Naming Rights Partner for Stadium
The Rochester Rhinos announced in a press conference on Thursday that Sahlen’s Packing Company, which owns the Western New York Flash of the WPS, has agreed to a 10-year commitment to call the home of the Rochester Rhinos, Rattlers and Flash – Sahlen’s Stadium.
Sahlen’s Packing is a Buffalo, New York based company specializing in Meat Products. They currently have a sponsorship deal to be the “official hot dog” of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. But Joe Sahlen, President of Sahlen’s Packing, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that their marketing thrust will not be hot dogs but other meat products that his company produces.
The stadium naming rights deal is believed to be somewhere near what PAETEC, a local Rochester, NY telecommunications company, had paid which was estimated to be about $2.1 million over seven years. The stadium was originally named PAETEC Park when opened in 2006. When the previous Rhinos owners were forced out for financial reasons, the deal was voided. Clark took over the team and cut a 1-year deal with PAETEC in 2008. In 2009 a new deal was struck with Marina Auto Group.
“This is an exciting day for our organization,” said Rhinos owner Rob Clark. “Sahlen’s long-term commitment gives stability to the stadium and our franchises. We also believe our partnership, as it pertains to the WNY Flash, brings economic value to the community.”
Rob Clark, owner of the Rochester Rhinos and the Rattlers, a new lacrosse team, told IMS the agreement is a 5-year deal with an option for another 5 years. He also said the partnership opens up another bigger plan for his Rhinos.
“Our 5 year plan for the Rhinos is to find a way to put Rochester back on MLS’s radar,” said Clark in an email on Thursday evening. “We are extremely pleased not only to have Sahlen’s as our naming rights partner, but also as a future potential partner should an opportunity to join MLS present itself.”
He explained that Sahlen now has a option to acquire 1/3 ownership in the Rhinos should they have the opportunity to become an MLS team. “We are one investor short of making that a reality,” said Clark.